Wow! So it’s been about 6 months since my last blog post. Life happens. The baby is now 8 months, and it’s been quite the roller coaster having a baby, and a toddler in the element of trying to homeschool 3 children.
Lets discuss how my plan to totally traditionally homeschool all of my children grades 1st, 3rd, and 5th didn’t work out as planned. Basically, I had planned on using a curriculum combined with unschooling to homeschool the kiddos. It wasn’t until time got near to restarting the school year that I realized how EXPENSIVE it was going to be. That was that drama! So, I purchased what I could afford, and it didn’t worry about the rest of what I needed because to be honest, I had tons of resources at home. I think I just wanted all new everything?! Wrong way of thinking!
Next, as I discussed early, the baby and the toddler. Oh. My. Goodness! Lord! It was so hectic initially. Naturally, the baby wanted momma all the time, and the toddler wanted the homeschooled siblings’ work for her self! She would bombard their space, snatch their assignments. . . and run! Can you imagine that? She didn’t want coloring sheets, she wanted what they had. So momma got smart! I had some old unused workbooks from last school year. When the older kids started doing lessons, I had the snatching toddler sit down with “her” lessons as well. She’d doodle on them, or ask “What’s this?” I wouldn’t make up anything! I’d tell her exactly what she was “working” on. I also would let her read through her learning cards which she really seemed interested in. She loves to show them to the baby as well. Her language skills are A1. She talks in sequence now; using first, next, then, yesterday, tomorrow, and the list goes on. So that drama was resolved!.
Then, my son, the 5th grader, seemed so impatient with me helping the younger homeschooled children with lessons, the baby, and chasing the toddler. . . him, and I both became frustrated. I could tell that he needed more stimulation, more activities, more more more everything that I wasn’t able to give him 100%. I prayed about it! I signed him up for online school. He also started playing basketball along with continuing his Jujitsu classes. I didn’t stop there however!
I signed up all the kids for online school! HUGE mistake! What was I thinking? I figured I could have the kids enrolled into an online school so that I could tend more to the needy baby and snatching toddler. However, on the first day of class, so many bad memories surfaced from last school year in online learning. The demanding teachers, the technical issues, teachers not bonding with their students, and etc. To make matters even worse, this particular online school required students to be learning online on their school’s website for 7 hours per day Monday-Thursday. Yes, woohoo, Fridays there were no school, but 7 hours per day on a computer? Can you imagine a 6-year-old staring at a computer for 7 hours? Oh my!
So, I reversed that decision for the 1st and 3rd grader. They were just fine in their element of traditional homeschooling. My son seems to be doing just fine. 7 hours of computer time is still extensive for him to be honest. Furthermore, he spends about 4-5 hours online completing assignments, with the live classes being included. So basically there are two 2-hour live classes, then he completes self-directed assignments for 3 hours spaced out throughout the day. As for the other 2 hours needed to make up a 7-hour school day, well, we get around that. Don’t judge me!
All in all, he enjoys the assignments, and the perks that comes with attending live classes, and incentives for daily reading logs and other activities. The only thing I don’t favor. . .the only thing. . .is that EVERYTHING is online except for art. All the math assignments, all the readings, etc.! I plan on printing out a few of his assignments weekly to build a portfolio.
To wrap up these last 6 months in a smaller summary:
- I discovered traditional homeschooling is EXPENSIVE.
- I realized that I have one heck of a multiple-level learning environment.
- I learned that traditional homeschooling is NOT for every child just like online learning is NOT for every child.
- I also learned that if something is working. . .don’t change it!
- Plan. Plan. Plan. Planning is my friend!
As much of a roller coaster the beginning of the school has been, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve truly learned so much amount my children from being so hands on with them. Our relationship is so much more personal, and I just can’t get enough of seeing their faces light up when they master a skill. I love it!!!
Peace & Blessings